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Good Police Officer - Qualities, Roles, and Concepts

NCJ Number
Journal of Police Science and Administration Volume: 14 Issue: 1 Dated: (March 1986) Pages: 1-5
G M Pugh
Date Published
5 pages
A discussion of what constitutes an effective police officer focuses on the qualities and roles of police officers and the concepts of policing found in the literature.
Both researchers and police officers have described the qualities essential for good police performance. These include common sense, mature judgment, and the ability to react quickly and effectively to problem situations. The basic concepts of policing represent the underlying principles and values that influence the formation and selection of roles. The generally recognized roles of the police officer are the law enforcer, the maintainer of social order, and the public servant. Police philosophy as expressed by Peel and others reveals two main concepts of policing. The first concept is that police work is an effort to improve the welfare of the community or social harmony. This concept is put into action through work to prevent crime and disorder and work to benefit the community. The second concept is high respect for individual rights. This concept is central to democracy and requires respect for the rights, worth, and dignity of individuals. Police officers need to display equanimity and verbal skills to make this concept a reality and to establish good democratic relationships with the public. 21 references.